The High Court of Malawi has found Annie Mumba, the widow of the late professor Peter Mumba, with a case to answer on a charge of the murder of her husband in April 2020.
Tears were seen flowing from the widow’s eyes in the courtroom in Lilongwe yesterday as presiding judge Mzondi Mvula delivered his ruling.
The judge said the accused has some explaining to do on why she did not rush the deceased to hospital despite observing that he was growing faint and weak.
Mvula also wondered why the suspect opted to wait for an ambulance from Bunda College instead
of taking her husband to Partners in Hope Hospital which was along the way.
Said the judge: “How could you manage to sleep when he told you that he was unwell? Was it usual of him to go to the toilet that frequent? If not, why not rush to hospital, this
only being around 10pm or 11pm? Why ignore calls by the deceased despite feeling unwell you entertained to go to hospital the next day, if at all?
“Why go alone in the dead of night to the hospital, leaving domestic servants who helped you get the patient into the car?”
The court also observed that according to evidence tendered, the body of the deceased was unusually cold, suggesting that Mumba had died more than an hour before arriving at hospital.
Mvula further questioned why the suspect left unceremoniously from Mumba’s Jikalala Village in Mzimba District barely hours after her husband’s burial without waiting for three days as per cultural requirements.
He said: “All evidence in its totality so far suggests that the deceased had his life cut short by you with malice aforethought. You accordingly must stand trial by this finding of a case to answer…”
In an interview outside the court, defence lawyer Innocent Kubwalo said they are ready to defend the case which is scheduled for next month according to the directions by the court.
“We have accepted the court’s decision and we will use the time between now and the next date of court hearing to prepare for our defence,” he said, adding that the defence will parade five witnesses.
Annie, who comes from Chituka Village, Traditional Authority Malengamzoma in Nkhata Bay, was arrested after postmor tem resul ts requested by some family members indicated that Mumba died of acute poisoning.
Mumba was a professor of chemistry at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources